Thursday, 15 January 2015

Kids' app review : Wuwu & Co

Step In Books is a company that explores spatiality in relation to narratives. This basically means that they push the boundaries of traditional story apps and create digital books that you can "step into". We've reviewed a lot of interactive story books here at The Madhouse but we did find this one particularly innovative and engaging. The first thing that struck me is that it really is a story, with long texts to be read together with your child (or you can choose to have it read to you instead), unlike many storybook apps which rely on very short texts or often just have one sentence to a page.

It's not all reading though. Once you've read the story about Wuwu and her friends with the ipad laying down flat ("It is the coldest winter in two thousand years. Wuwu and her friends in the forest have come to the Little Red House, to ask for your help ... "), it's time to pick up the app and jump into the story visually. As you turn the ipad, your viewpoint in the app changes so you can look around the room, which earned an impressed "wow" from Juliette !

At certain places in the story, you can move around, interact with the world and talk to the creatures from the story. You make use of the special functionalities of the iPad to help the creatures inhabiting the world, so, for example, you may have to shake your iPad to shake off pine cones from a tree for a starving Thit Maya or shout at the top of your lungs to wake up the sleeping Everett's family. Both Pierre and Juliette (oh OK, and me too !) thought this was brilliant and shared many giggles ! At one point, you even use the camera to find colours in the real world in order to light up the darkness for Storm’s tango loving family in the app. I thought this merging of the real and virtual worlds was very clever.

The trailer gives you an idea of the visual appeal. I was surprised by the use of black and white with the odd splash of colour to begin with, but in the end I really liked it.

The story for Wuwu & Co. was originally written in Danish, but has since been translated into English. They've done a great job with the translation but it retains a Nordic feel, with frosty pine forests and fairytale cottages.

The app is available on AppStore for £2.29 but don't go away - I have a giveaway coming right up with three download codes for you to win.

star rating : 5/5

RRP : £2.29

for more information :

Disclosure : We received a free download in order to write an honest review.

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